and the Lord said to paul one night in a vision, “do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for i am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for i have many in this city who are my people.”
the Lord comforts – with presence
when moses asked the Lord who he was to go and lead God’s people out of egypt, the Lord responds with “but I will be with you” and he encourages paul here with the same promise—that he will be with him. not only that, but the believers around paul will be with him also. it is not God’s sovereign plan that he comforts paul with, it’s his presence, and the presence of fellow believers.
in your prayer life, in your thought life, in the midst of work and life, do you find yourself looking to God more as the mover of fates up in heaven, or more as one who is present with you? God is sovereign, and none of his plans can be thwarted, but he is not just transcendent, above us, he is also immanent, God with us. God didn’t just save you to put you on a shelf, he saved you to be with you! and there is nowhere his children can run to escape his presence. Lord, comfort us with your presence, and teach us to long for your presence above your presents!
~ stephen hall